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Thread: The church and homosexuality

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    The church and homosexuality

    There's a bit of controversy in the church of England just now over homosexual bishops, just one article here.


    Now, I have a real problem getting my head around the Church's stance on same sex relationships, as I do on many things. I know that the Church, whether Catholic or Protestant has evolved over the years and changed their traditions. There are questions over whether the church should marry divorced couples, whether the clergy should marry or remain celibate, and at the same time they are moving towards allowing openly practising homosexuals into the ministry. It seems that the "House of Bishops" guidelines are more important than the preaching of the apostle Paul.

    So where do the church get their moral direction? Is it from the feeling of society according to the laws and cultures of the day?
    Or, is it from the moral code of the Bible, which they use in relation to many other matters, but are now starting to abandon in relation to sexual morality?

    My view as a Christian, is that we are all sinners and need to repent and have faith in Christ for our salvation. Repent means to turn from our own ways to those of God. The church would think it odd if someone claimed to have become a Christian, yet continued to abuse people, steal from others or show hatred? How can the congregation sit and listen to the preaching of someone who is highly selective about which moral codes they follow.

    I think that the church should base their moral codes on the Bible, as they consider it to be the infallible word of God. If they don't believe it to be so, then they might as well abandon their faith, and just become a humanist organisation. It may be that the church would have views contrary to the groundswell of public opinion, or even the laws, but we would expect that, as the church has been written out of the compulsion to perform same sex marriages. But some of the clergy are actually advocating performing same sex marriages in the church!

    I wonder if any of the clergy actually believe any of the supernatural core tenets of Christianity, such as creation, the virgin birth, the miracles of Christ, his resurrection and everlasting life. It would be good to see the church keep a moral lead in society, even if secular society is going morally downhill. How the clergy expect us to believe what they preach on supernatural matters, I don't know, considering their stance on natural matters is wavering in the wind.

    So come on church, stick to your own biblical principals, or you may as well just forget the Bible and be a bunch of "nice people" who like to help others, have some Easter eggs in the spring, a harvest festival in the autumn, and some presents and a fir tree at "xmas".

    Do you think that the church is losing its way, or should the church adapt to modern society?
    Last edited by Barry; 04-09-2016 at 04:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Or, is it from the moral code of the Bible, which they use in relation to many other matters, but are now starting to abandon in relation to sexual morality?
    Although the bible (or the koran, the talmud, the gran sahib, L Ron Hubbard's Wonder Book of Dianetics, etc, etc) is one of the very last places I'd be inclined to seek moral guidance, there's a slight problem for some of those who choose to. There's an argument, occasionally, from people who would seek to portray the bible as "morally superior" to the koran, even though it's every bit as full of terrifying threats of violent punishment for the smallest indiscretion. "Ah, yes.." runs the argument; "but that was in the old testament - god changed his mind, later!"

    Fair enough. But then, on the matter of sexuality, the same person will merrily quote leviticus and deuteronomy as "proof" that god may move in a mysterious way, but it's a fair bet that he can't stand the gays.

    The new testament, meanwhile, gives jesus nothing at all to say on the matter.

    It strikes this atheist that if you're going to live by the bits of the bible that condemn homosexuality, then for the sake of consistancy, you should also kill your children if they swear at you, bar the disabled (oh - and people with "flat noses") from church, and never wear wool with cotton...

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    I'm not a practicing christian though believe many of its basic tenets are a good idea to follow.

    I have seen more than a few clergy in the c of e who say they don't even believe in god or the creation,all seems a bit odd to me.

    Having said all that I have family and people I know who attend church regularly,both protestant and catholic,they go through the whole rigmarole confession or whatever then for the rest of the week behave in some cases like absolute barstewards.

    Now I'm no saint but then I don't pretend otherwise,however if you declare you follow a certain religion shouldn't you at least attempt to follow its teachings?

    To attempt to answer your questions,I think the way was lost a good while ago, I suppose it has to adapt otherwise congregations will fall even more,will that result in losing much of its belief system? Probably,but I suspect many of the hierarchy abandoned their beliefs long ago and are only there for the power,stature and control over others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaymondDelauney View Post
    Fair enough. But then, on the matter of sexuality, the same person will merrily quote leviticus and deuteronomy as "proof" that god may move in a mysterious way, but it's a fair bet that he can't stand the gays.
    It's not the only sexual sin, adultery and fornication is listed in the same way, in the New Testament, in the passage to which I linked.
    The new testament, meanwhile, gives jesus nothing at all to say on the matter.
    I think that's true, I can't think of a single reference, it was mostly in Paul's writings that it is mentioned, but never in exclusivity, it was mixed with other matters.
    You make a good point in that Jesus is not recorded as having mentioned it.
    It strikes this atheist that if you're going to live by the bits of the bible that condemn homosexuality, then for the sake of consistancy, you should also kill your children if they swear at you, bar the disabled (oh - and people with "flat noses") from church, and never wear wool with cotton...
    But nowhere in the NT does it commend any such action.
    But your point reflects mine, in that the church should either stick to their own principles or not bother with the Bible any more.
    Perhaps Justin Welby will introduce a loose leaf bible, so he can throw away pages that the church does not like any more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Perhaps Justin Welby will introduce a loose leaf bible, so he can throw away pages that the church does not like any more.
    Such a move needn't even be that controversial - the early church was forever consigning "difficult" passages and books to the apocrypha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    But nowhere in the NT does it commend any such action.
    That's my point exactly - therefore it's a bit rich of the church homophobes (as one particular old bat who sits on the General Synod did on telly only this morning) to quote OT on the matter of sexuality, yet keep pretty schtum about the equally pressing (I'd imagine) moral dangers of eating lobster and letting different sorts of cattle graze together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cromwell View Post
    I'm not a practicing christian though believe many of its basic tenets are a good idea to follow.

    I have seen more than a few clergy in the c of e who say they don't even believe in god or the creation,all seems a bit odd to me.

    Having said all that I have family and people I know who attend church regularly,both protestant and catholic,they go through the whole rigmarole confession or whatever then for the rest of the week behave in some cases like absolute barstewards.

    Now I'm no saint but then I don't pretend otherwise,however if you declare you follow a certain religion shouldn't you at least attempt to follow its teachings?

    To attempt to answer your questions,I think the way was lost a good while ago, I suppose it has to adapt otherwise congregations will fall even more,will that result in losing much of its belief system? Probably,but I suspect many of the hierarchy abandoned their beliefs long ago and are only there for the power,stature and control over others.
    I'd agree that it has lost its way. Women priests was another diversion from biblical texts (debatable, I know) and there has been a more and more liberal approach as time has gone on. It's no surprise that so many people consider the church totally irrelevant, as they are even eroding their own standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by RaymondDelauney View Post
    That's my point exactly - therefore it's a bit rich of the church homophobes (as one particular old bat who sits on the General Synod did on telly only this morning) to quote OT on the matter of sexuality, yet keep pretty schtum about the equally pressing (I'd imagine) moral dangers of eating lobster and letting different sorts of cattle graze together.
    I wouldn't label them homophobes. If the Bible says that certain things are sins, then that's fine. That's a spiritual matter and nothing to do with our laws. There's no need to hate anyone, but the Bible says the penalty for sin is death, but not physical death in this life, but a second death in the next life.

    What I often tell non-believers is that I don't care what they do, as long as it doesn't harm me. However, I expect a better standard of people who say that they have repented and turned to Christianity. I wouldn't expect them to carry on thieving, or dealing drugs, for instance.

    For Christians, there should be a moral code that exceeds what the law tells them to do, in my opinion. After all, the law changes, but the Bible does not. (Apocrypha and Council of Rome Canon of scripture excepted). It's surely morally wrong to cheat on your wife or husband, but it is not illegal, is it?

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    It's funny that particularly the c of e seems to have lost its way,was a lot down to this man?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37093551
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    Yes, David Jenkins, I'd almost forgotten about him. A traitor to the faith!
    He didn't believe a word of it, but drew a lovely salary on the back of his theology degree. So, yes, having reminded myself from that article, a lot is down to him.
    I suspect that there are many more "non believing believers" making money from the collection plates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I suspect that there are many more "non believing believers" making money from the collection plates.
    My longest-standing friend (since we were six) is a vicar who doesn't believe in the literal truth of the Nicene Creed, and never did. It doesn't seem to be a particularly unusual position. (Certainly not as rare as that of a colleague of his who gave our pub a riotous evening's entertainment, years ago, by attempting to argue his corner as both a hardcore Literalist and a Creationist...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaymondDelauney View Post
    My longest-standing friend (since we were six) is a vicar who doesn't believe in the literal truth of the Nicene Creed, and never did. It doesn't seem to be a particularly unusual position. (Certainly not as rare as that of a colleague of his who gave our pub a riotous evening's entertainment, years ago, by attempting to argue his corner as both a hardcore Literalist and a Creationist...)
    And when you move permanently that's some thing you'll miss,you don't get that in a french bar.
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